As I was writing my post about VCs who use fear tactics on founders, I found myself making a list of qualities of good and bad VCs.
Since we just raised a round at AirGarage, I wanted to share some heuristics that might help you think about what to look for in a VC.
• Invests regardless of confirmed lead or if firm XYZ is in
• Low partner to company ratio (pro-tip - ask how many companies they are working with / on the board of!)
• Passionately positive references from portfolio founders - some examples i've heard:
• Previous founder experience
• Helps with hiring, fighting regulations, key introductions
• Waiting for lead investor to wire
• Anything but amazing founder references
• Makes promises to intro you to firms / customers after you let them invest
• Unresponsive when you first reach out, then wants in later once round gets hot
• Sends swag and freebies - this is actually a psychological sales tactic where you are given free things and thus feel indebted. Similar to how time share sales work (free dinners)
• Promises extras - some extras can be nice, but don't pick a VC for the free office space.
• Subtweets founders on twitter, upset they didn't get in on deals